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Ross McPherson

I must say that I found this week's readings with densely packed economic jargon quite frustrating. Pretty much the only thing I know about economics is the idea of supply and demand, so I can't unpack too many of the concepts presented. That being said, I find it quite interesting that the current global economic climate is neither unique nor was it unforseeable. The framework presented in the Craft reading (I think it was Craft) accurately describes our current near crisis status as well as how we got here. I found the idea of fuite en avant particularly relevant: that is, something one does in a losing situation--more of the same or something even worse in the hopes that people will feel compelled to support the cause. The war in Iraq certainly comes to my mind. I liked the multipled perspectives presented in the Kassabian reading--how music also contributes to producing the diegesis, the ideas of source music, dramatic scoring, source scoring, and the attention continuum. While reading the piece I began to think about the film There Will Be Blood. The score for the film was written by Jonny Greenwood, of Radiohead fame. I think the music in this film was groundbreaking because it combined source music with dramatic scoring. The "music" in the film is comprised of sounds which one might hear if one were on a site which was being drilled for oil. For example, wooden blocks are used for percussion. There are many sounds of metal contacting metal. There are instances where men are pounding with their tools which creates a kind of source music, but their rythmic pounding also forms a beat for the dramatic score.


In reading the Kassabian article, 'Hearing Film', a few thoughts came to mind. He spends the whole article discussing the different music in films and what categories he would place them in (understandable considering the article is titled 'Hearing Film'); however, he never touches on the dramatic effects of not having music at all in a scene. This seemed odd considering the length in which he describes all the different types of music that can be present in a movie to provide a facilitating effect for the narrative. I feel that at least a paragraph or mention of how lack of music can enhance the narrative just as easily would be appropriate. Along those lines, he never touches on music in a non-narrative film (that I can recall) which can prove to be just as helpful with the creators point of making the film. Although there is no story line present, usually the film maker is creating a film to send a message to the audience, not simply making a film to waste a few days of a lifetime. One last comment I would like to make about this article is that the terminology, although outlined and explained well, in the end, seemed to be unnecessary in a way. All of the terms have gray areas that are assumed with them, and they all seem to overlap with one another. They seemed redundant a lot of the time, and in some areas they seemed expendable. The Symposium on Brenner articles were much harder for me to understand. There wasn't much that I took out of them as the content slipped from my brain immediately upon reading the next sentence. This probably has to do with the unfamiliar subject matter, and I will more than likely need these to be cleared up. The Arrighi followed in the same fashion and not until I read the Anderson piece did I understand the basic content of his article. Similarly to Ross, I thought immediately of the war in Iraq, and the fact that we could be in that mess because of the need for U.S. hegemony over other states in the world, this one especially crucial because of the resources that can be found in it. The other thing that the Anderson article brought to mind is the rumor that the world is going to end in 2012 because of a global crisis. He briefly mentions that on page 34 while outlining Arrighi's "three possible futures for humanity".